Galaxy Zoo Talk

How to recognize a stellar event?

  • PDXDave by PDXDave

    (Note: I'm not talking about the star under the galaxy)

    When I see pictures of a galaxy like this, with the little bright spot to the right of the center mass, I wonder.... how do I determine if it is an overlapping star versus possibly a stellar event like a star gone nova? On the Science Channel - don't recall which program - they showed several galaxies with major stellar events, and they looked pretty much like this one ~ just a nondescript bright spot in a galaxy. How do you guys tell the difference? Are there other means like radio signatures? CAN you tell just from a "photo" image?


  • ElisabethB by ElisabethB moderator

    The short answer is no.
    Just by looking at a picture you cannot determine if it is a foreground star or a nova.
    A before and after picture would be good. I suppose determining the redshift of the object would be a good idea too.


  • vrooje by vrooje admin, scientist

    Yes, you really need multiple images taken at different times to be able to tell if it's a transient event.

    The Galaxy Zoo project designed to find supernovae ( was recently retired, but there may be future projects involving transients!